What you think you know about cacao may be about to change...
Baures Region Cacao
The findings of the archaeologists Clark Erickson and Denevan indicate that pre-Columbian cultures occupied the plains of Moxos at least 1000 BC, before the arrival of the Spaniards to America and let complex constructions of an hydrographic network of approximately 6000 miles in the savanna of Beni.
These were not released until 1961 when the geographer William Denevan and geologist Kenneth Lee, flew over this region. Denevan and Erickson, his student, started an archaeological investigation in this area. He and other archaeologists had identified stands of cocoa, islands within the forest which are called simply "chocolatales" believed to date since the existence of these cultures, those who would have been the ones cultivating it. (Mara Hvistendahl - Amazonian Harvest).
In Sumar, we not only join the theory of the scientist Clark Erickson to assert that the cacao stands formed part of a rich pre-Columbian history that has left verifiable and visible remains unto this day; but also, we strongly believe that the cocoa from Baures is a native species which genetic analysis is not yet registered as cocoa species are the known.
It always existed in this area, and remains pure, as a native species in a particular process of genetic isolation from other varieties. We may therefore speak of an endemic variety fully adapted to local conditions, which has resulted in a very particular variety different to the varieties already known. It is currently known as "Cacao Beniano" (Cacao from Beni) and…why not say, that this area of the Amazon could be the origin of Amazonian Cacao, scattered later throughout the Amazon by streams and wildlife And you…What do you think?
Our Product Specifications
Wild collection, handpicked, sundried and naturally fermented.
Organic product by CERES (EU/NOP)
10 to 20 microns
What we traditionally know about cocoa
Cacao is -undoubtedly- a native plant from America. Its original distribution area is the Amazon region, extending to the Orinoco and Mexico, where it was discovered. The natives cultivated it many years before the arrival of the Spaniards to America. The importance given to this crop was significant because, besides producing and be ing profitable, the seeds were used as coins by different people of Mesoamerica. (Van Hall 1932).
In the rest of South America, the cocoa was growing wild in the upper and middle streams of the Amazon and in the upper streams of Orinoco which connects with the headwaters of the Rio Negro, main affluent of the Amazon.
It was classified by the Botanist Linnaeus as Theobroma Cocoa or "food of the gods."
Its history begins to be registered since the arrival of the Spaniards to the shores of Mexico. The chocolate was taken by conquerors to the old world and it travelled through all courts and european palaces. Until the 18th century, it was an exclusive drink of the aristocracy. Gradually new techniques were acquired and new processes were discovered to improve its flavor and finesse.
The race to make the delicious chocolate tasted today, started in 1728, when the Englishman Walter Churchman invented a steam engine for crushing seeds.
In 1828, J. van Hounten, Dutch pharmacist, invented a screw press to separate the butter from the cacao liquor. This allowed the elaboration of cacaopowder and cocoa butter.
In 1847, Francis Fry produced the first chocolate bar adding sugar and cocoa butter to the mix of cocoa. ("The long history of Chocolate between two worlds" Alessandra Pecci).
From that moment, innovations and discoveries of technology and the industrial world have not stopped so far, resulting in endless combinations, incorporating amazing ingredients, textures and flavors to produce all kind of chocolates.